Reds had to soak up a lot of pressure, particularly in the second half either side of Swindon’s equaliser, but they did their defensive job with a lot of discipline and then stung the hosts right at the end.
Dean Saunders made two changes from last week’s victory over Barnsley with Darren Ward ineligible against his parent club and Tomlin coming in for Marvin Elliott, who joined a lengthy list of unavailable players after injuring his hamstring in training. Ward was replaced by Richard Wood, who started a month’s loan from Rotherham after signing on a month’s loan.
Reds took the initiative from the start and were ahead when Welsh winger Edwards showed what he does best by attacking the by-line and delivering a great cut back for midfielder WORDSWORTH whose late run and neat finish to gave Wes Foderingham no chance.
The hosts came came close to equalising just minutes later when a John Swift free-kick went just wide of Lewis Price’s near post after Tomlin had committed a foul on the edge of the area.
The Robins tried to play their way back into the contest through their neat possession-based game but Reds’ defence stood firm with Sonny Bradley and Wood snuffing out danger and the midfield doing a good protective job in front of them.
Price was alert on a couple of first-half occasions to grab a low cross from John Swift when he got to the by-line before holding Yasir Kasim’s drive from the edge of the box.
Swindon, as expected, had a lot of the ball but Reds did threaten a couple of times on the break, most notably when Izale McLeod headed Lewis Young’s cross wide before Edwards volleyed over after good work by Tomlin.
Reds got to the break 1-0 up but they expected an onslaught at the start of the second half and it duly arrived.
The equaliser came when Southampton loanee Jack Stephens broke forward unchallenged and then slipped a pass through the inside right channel and WILLIAMS ran on to slip his shot past the helpless Price.
Reds were briefly on the rocks but they rode the storm, although it still looked at that stage that Swindon might get another goal. Ben Gladwin glanced a header wide and then got on the end of Nathan Byrne’s deep cross but Price was equal to his effort at the far post. The former Crawley loanee then provided a good cross from the left but Swift put his effort wide.
As the game entered the closing stages Reds looked a lot more solid despite Swindon’s territorial dominance. The hosts seemed to have run out of ideas and a minute from time their mood worsened as TOMLIN struck.
He won a free kick from skipper Ryan Dickson inside the box and then controlled the ball under pressure before smashing an unstoppable right-foot shot past Foderingham and in off the underside of the bar.
Crawley still had five minutes of stoppage time to negotiate but they did so professionally to secure three points that are even more valuable considering that most of the other strugglers enjoyed profitable afternoons as well.